Muscle Mountain hits the quarter century
By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk
Muscle Mountain has again shown his class, and dominance, with his 25th career victory at Addington last night.
Despite starting off 30m in the Group 3 Lamb and Hayward Trotters Classic, the six-year-old circled the field with over a lap to go for driver Ben Hope.
From there it was job done as he cruised home by a length. It was a Greg and Nina Hope-trained quinella with Midnight Dash second.
"It was trackwork to be honest," Hope told Harness Unhinged's Nigel Armstrong post-race.
With Horse of the Year Sundees Son retired and Bolt For Brilliance sidelined with injury, Muscle Mountain is without doubt the country's premier trotter right now and Hope reckons he knows it.
"He's become a man now that they've gone and he's in for a good autumn."
It was Muscle Mountain's first win in the race, with Sundees Son and Bolt For Brilliance winning the previous two editions.
Muscle Mountain's 25 wins have come from 39 starts, and he has amassed $526,209 in stakes.
No-one enjoys his success more than owner Ian Dobson.
"We've had calls from New York and Sweden for him to race there but I said no I want to see him run here at Addington - and here we are."
Another top performer last night was Silk, who set a new New Zealand record for mares, for a 2000m stand. Her time of 2:27.2 just shaded the old mark set by Kerri Maguire. Back in 1990 the record (2:33.5) was held by none other than Blossom Lady.
The Ivan Court-trained Silk bounced back from a disappointing run at Oamaru to upset in the Matt Harrison Construction Pace, paying $19.80 and $5.10.
Now the winner of eight races, she is in foal to Downbytheseaside.
And in the night's feature pace it was a Robert and Jenna Dunn-trained quinella with Sam's Town edging out Heisenberg by a neck.